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Fifth Texas Republican Congressman Will Not Seek Re-election

Representative Bill Flores of Texas said he would not seek re-election in 2020, joining a long list of Republicans retiring in a state that has become increasingly competitive.

“When I originally announced that I was running for Congress in 2009, I was firm in my commitment that I would run for six or fewer terms,” Mr. Flores, who is serving a fifth term, said in a statement on Wednesday. “After much prayer over the past few days and following conversations with my wife, Gina, during that time, I have decided that my current term will be my last.”

With his announcement, Mr. Flores became the fifth Republican in the state to bow out of the next election cycle, rather than face challengers. Representative Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House, and Representatives Michael Conaway, Pete Olson and Kenny Marchant also recently announced they did not plan to run again.

Texas Republicans, who have enjoyed a generation of dominance, are facing resistance as the population diversifies and because of their connection to President Trump and his incendiary brand of nationalist politics, including from suburban voters, a once dependable base.

The Republican Party is facing an uphill battle to win back the House in 2020. Fifteen, including Mr. Flores, have said they will retire or seek other offices.

Much as they did in California ahead of the 2018 election, House Democrats have bolstered their presence in Texas, opening up an office in Austin just as they did in Orange County.

Nathan L. Gonzales, the editor and publisher of the nonpartisan Inside Elections, said on Twitter that for now, the seat would retain its “Solid Republican” rating in their system.

Mr. Flores was elected to the House for the 17th District of Texas in 2010, beating a Democratic incumbent by the largest margin of victory that election cycle. The district includes Waco, part of the Austin suburbs, as well as Texas A&M University and Baylor University. Mr. Flores is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the former chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

Before his career in politics, Mr. Flores, a ninth-generation Texan, was the chief executive and president of Phoenix Exploration, a company focused on the extraction and transmission of natural gas.

Mr. Flores planned to spend more time with his family, “to resume business activities in the private sector and to stay politically active on a federal, state and local level,” according to the statement.


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